Employer Insights

/ 4 years ago /

 Article by Brenda Wong

7 insane buildings that exist around the world

This article was written in collaboration with BuroHappold. Explore exclusive placement and internship opportunities at BuroHappold by downloading the Debut app. 

We’re not gonna lie to you, folks. We here at Debut can’t claim to be architecture or engineering experts, no matter how hard we try. However, we do appreciate a work of art when we see it. These insane buildings around the world totally blow our minds – so we’ve gathered our favourite ones in a handy list just for you.

1. La Grande Arche de la Défense (France)

Insane Buildings | La Grande Arche de la Défense

Rub your eyes all you like – what you’re seeing is absolutely real. Apparently, this building won a design competition in France, and is meant to be a 20th-century version of the Arch de Triomphe. I mean, we can kinda see it?

2. The Halfway House (Canada)

Insane Buildings | Halfwary House

The story of this house comes straight outta Pixar’s Up playbook. The house was originally built in the early 1890s as part of a set of six homes with shared walls. Decades later in the 1950s, the owners of the other houses were pressured to sell their homes by developers, leaving one final house standing.

The occupant of the final house refused to sell at any price. Because of the shared wall, they had to cut off the other half of one of the sold units in order to accommodate the new buildings they were building beside it. Crazy stuff.

3. Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Germany)

Insane Buildings | Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Image via BuroHappold

Considered one of the most important international memorials in the world, the structure consists of 2,711 concrete stelae (an upright slab or column) meant to represent a wave-like ripple. The whole area covers more than 19,000 square metres. Also, there’s a whole hidden side to this ‘building’ – there’s an underground ‘Place of Information’ that acts as a museum.

BuroHappold’s team of engineers worked for four years on this project from 2001-2005. Since then the building has attracted debate and discourse around one of the most significant  and harrowing periods of history ever.

Take a look at Buro Happold’s project page for more information: Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

4. House Attack – Museum Moderner Kunst (Austria)

Insane Buildings | Museum Moderner Kunst

We have so many questions. The building was conceptualised by artist Erwin Wurm, and is considered the very first art piece you see when you arrive at the Museum Moderner Kunst in Vienna. Trippy.

5. Eden Project (Cornwall, England)

Insane Buildings | Eden Project

The Eden Project’s biomes make it look like it’s come straight out of a utopic sci-fi movie starring Harrison Ford. Inside them contain thousands of plant species. The two largest biomes simulate a Rainforest environment and a Mediterranean environment respectively, just in case y’all were thinking of a cheeky tropical holiday.

BuroHappold carried out important acoustic, mechanical and electrical engineering work for the Eden Project.

6. Kansas City Public Library

Insane Buildings | Kansas City Library

This building is literally literary goals. This facade is called ‘The Community Bookshelf’ and runs along the south wall of the Central Library’s parking garage.

The works included in the structure are fairly diverse – containing both the Tao Te Ching by Lau Tsu and Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkein. This definitely proves having fun isn’t hard… (when you’ve got a library card!)

7. Tate Modern (London)

Insane Buildings | Switch House

Image via BuroHappold

We all know about the iconic Tate Modern building. But there’s been a new addition to the mammoth structure: Switch House. The expansion cost £260 million, and has been in construction since the mid-2000s.

The twisting pyramid has 10 floors, spanning from the underground up to wonderful views over the Thames at the top. BuroHappold were involved to suss out the building’s new recycling strategy, making this a sustainable building as well as a cool one.

Take a look at BuroHappold’s project page for more information: Transforming Tate Modern

We may not be engineering experts, but BuroHappold sure are. Be a part of their incredible building projects around the world – apply for their placements today!

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Images via Wikimedia Commons, Imgur, BuroHappold, Flickr

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